Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks

4.6 11
Director: Joe Roth

Cast: Joe Roth, Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd


Based on John Grisham's novel Skipping Christmas, Christmas With the Kranks revolves around Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Luther Krank's (Tim Allen) decision to put their normally fanatical enthusiasm for the holidays aside for a tropical cruise. With their daughter in Peru with the Peace Corps, the Kranks believe it just isn't worth it; thus, no presents,See more details below


Based on John Grisham's novel Skipping Christmas, Christmas With the Kranks revolves around Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Luther Krank's (Tim Allen) decision to put their normally fanatical enthusiasm for the holidays aside for a tropical cruise. With their daughter in Peru with the Peace Corps, the Kranks believe it just isn't worth it; thus, no presents, Christmas trees, or decorations of any kind will adorn their house to the great consternation of their neighbor Vic (Dan Aykroyd). Just as it looks like Christmas will be successfully skipped, Blair (Julie Gonzalo) throws a major kink into her plans when she suddenly has a change of heart and announces she'll be coming home for Christmas after all. The film ran into troubles early on in production when Ben Affleck's similar sounding bomb Surviving Christmas won the race to the theaters, forcing the filmmakers to depart from the book title in favor of the catchy Kranks one. ~ Tracie Cooper

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Having struck box-office gold some years ago as the director of Home Alone, screenwriter Chris Columbus returns to the affluent Chicago suburbs -- and their Christmas-crazy residents -- for this adaptation of John Grisham's novel Skipping Christmas. The Kranks, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis), are renowned for their lavish Christmas Eve parties and ostentatious decorations. But since their only child, Blair (Julie Gonzalo), is spending the holiday in Peru with the Peace Corps, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas for a year and go on a Caribbean cruise instead -- a decision that horrifies the neighbors, who resent this affront to their cherished tradition. Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd) assumes responsibility for shaming the Kranks into staying home and throwing the party as expected -- and that's where things begin to get testy. Director Joe Roth turns a silly neighborhood squabble into inspired lunacy, with Allen's Luther gleefully turning the tables on his tormentors and eliciting most of the movie's laughs with his outrageous antics. Roth and Columbus don't miss a single opportunity; every conceivable gag applicable to the Christmas season is trotted out and flailed mercilessly. Whenever you see a patch of ice, rest assured that someone will slip on it. Whenever somebody clambers atop a snowy roof, rest assured that said person will slide down the side and plummet to the ground. At times the slapstick seems excessive, but the film moves so fast that there's no time to reflect on what really works or doesn't work. For those who get queasy at the thought of eggnog and carolers, Christmas with the Kranks is a highly enjoyable lump of coal.
All Movie Guide
The title's silly-name humor is typical of Christmas With the Kranks, the film version of John Grisham's novel Skipping Christmas. The original name would have been better, but it was probably too similar to Surviving Christmas, Ben Affleck's lump of coal that came out the same holiday season. Joe Roth's film of a Chris Columbus script doesn't stoop to those depths, but it does have a consistently hard time capturing real human behavior. Each scene is less believable than the one before it, but at least it starts with a decent idea -- a middle-aged couple decide to redirect their usual holiday resources toward a Christmas cruise, with their daughter occupied in the Peace Corps. The many niggling details involved with avoiding Christmas -- whom to inform, which traditions to skip -- are humorously presented in the early going, as acquaintances react with surprise and frustration that's exaggerated just enough for good farce. But as the neighbors eventually launch a full-scale assault on the historically generous and popular family just because they decide to re-prioritize for one year, things get ridiculous. Then, not only does their daughter fly home at the last minute -- an unthinkable luxury for a Peace Corps volunteer only a month on the job -- but Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen drive themselves and everyone around them bonkers trying to support the ruse that Christmas was always proceeding just as normal. A disappointed daughter hardly seems grounds for such crisis-level behavior. Most problematic is that the film sees Allen as a Scrooge -- a crank, if you will -- simply because he makes the justified and quite contemporary decision to use late-December vacation days for a real vacation. The audience ends up sympathizing with him a lot more than the filmmakers intended.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None Specified]

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Allen Luther Krank
Jamie Lee Curtis Nora Krank
Dan Aykroyd Vic Frohmeyer
Erik Per Sullivan Spike Forhmeyer
Cheech Marin Officer Salino
Jake Busey Officer Treen
M. Emmet Walsh Walt Scheel
Elizabeth Franz Bev Scheel
Kevin Chamberlain Mr. Scanlon
René Lavan Joanna
Tom Poston Father Zabriskie
Austin Pendleton Umbrella Santa/Marty
Caroline Rhea Candi
Patrick Breen Aubie
Felicity Huffman Merry
Arden Myrin Daisy
John Short Ned Beker
Bonita Friedericy Jude Becker
Julie Gonzalo Blair Krank
David Hornsby Randy Becker
Julia Roth Cashier
Paul Taylor Fireman

Technical Credits
Joe Roth Director
Michael Barnathan Producer
Bruce A. Block Executive Producer
Gae S. Buckley Set Decoration/Design
Don Burgess Cinematographer
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Allegra Clegg Co-producer
Chris Columbus Producer,Screenwriter
Alan B. Curtiss Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Hallie D'Amore Makeup
Susie de Santo Costumes/Costume Designer
John Debney Score Composer
Bruce Hill Set Decoration/Design
Patricia Klawonn Set Decoration/Design
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul Musical Direction/Supervision
Barbara Mesney Set Decoration/Design
Nick Moore Editor
Charles James Newirth Executive Producer
Mark A. Radcliffe Producer
Theodore H. Sharps Set Decoration/Design
Margery Simkin Casting
Garreth Stover Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Christmas With the Kranks
1. Start [:25]
2. Couldn't Get Any Wetter [2:48]
3. Luther's Big Idea [3:30]
4. "When Do We Leave?" [4:45]
5. Skipping Christmas [1:29]
6. Mr. Frohmeyer [3:20]
7. Neighbor Problems [3:46]
8. "Give Us Frosty!" [2:39]
9. Tans Forever [3:53]
10. Mystery Photographer [2:43]
11. Some Christmas Cheer [3:07]
12. Botox [4:33]
13. More Holiday Shocks [4:28]
14. Christmas Tree [4:21]
15. Lost His Mind [3:02]
16. Ham [2:02]
17. Spike's Rescue [3:30]
18. The End of Frosty [2:30]
19. Party at the Krank's [4:53]
20. Another Change of Plans [2:39]
21. Stalling [1:55]
22. Break-In [4:20]
23. "They're Here!" [3:25]
24. Family & Friends [2:45]
25. Holiday Guilt and Shame [2:53]
26. Walt & Bev [2:27]
27. Christmas Offering [2:09]
28. Marty's Secret [4:33]

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